Poem: Plane Crash

Posted On: May 5, 2012

Published with permission by the poet Stephanie Chan.  She read this poem at the Opening Reception of Portraits of Defacement at Your Mother Gallery 91A Hindoo Road, Singapore. Organised by SlutWalk Singapore and Eros Coaching. Portraits of Dfacement runs till May 12. You can request for a private viewing by contacting Vanessa at +65 91254467.




We called it The Plane Crash

because it was sudden,

and unexpected

and a lot of blood came out

in the process.


We called it Plane Crash

because menstruation was hard to pronounce,

in P6, it still felt wrong to talk about down there

outside the school toilets we wondered whose

planes had crashed,

and if it had hurt

thanking our collective gods

that you couldn’t notice leaks

on our navy blue skirts,


My best friend Kim got it first.

The January of our PSLE year

We always knew she was the most mature

Mine didn’t come until December.


So my Primary Six involved a lot of

her patting my head saying

oh, don’t worry, it will happen to you,”

and a lot of flipping through the health education books

to make sure of the I had not missed puberty yet.


Ten years later me and my five best friends

from primary school

reunite over vodka redbulls

some bar by the Singapore River

comparing I-phones,  entry-level positions,

and boyfriends, we don’t need code-words

and no one giggles when they talk about


what types of condoms they use, what their parents said when they found out,

the best places they had it, the ultimate kiss, how it felt the time you finally said yes.


They notice I’ve been quiet,

I haven’t mentioned my stead

Kim puts her arm around me, says,

“aw don’t worry one day it will happen to you,”


By which she means,

One day you’ll get a serious boyfriend

And he will fuck you

And you’ll know what it means to be grown up and 22.


And I feel about 12 again. Wondering if my plane would ever crashland.

I guess I missed the memo that 22 in the 21st century was too old to have your hymen intact.


No wonder that guy after the party asked, you’re not a virgin are you?

When I said I said No Sex and No blow jobs.  But um…thanks for letting me sleep in your bed.


No wonder I felt I had to lie and say, of course not. I just don’t like sex.


And I thought life would be simple after it finally happened to me

After I got it over and done with at 24.

But after I Lost it, everything just got more complex.


First Shane wouldn’t kiss me coz he thought I was too experienced.

Then Matthew thought I was wild coz I’d been naked with his roommate.

And Pat thought I was freaky coz I’d told him about the threesome.

And Jason thought I was conservative coz I didn’t sleep around as much as him

And that made things weird coz we were in some kind of polyamorous relationship.


And just when I thought I’d never hear it again, he said,

Are you a virgin or something?

Its just…not…going…in.

You know this other girl I was with, hers was so big you could fit two in.


And I said,

I’m sorry I only lost it three months ago

I’m sorry I didn’t know not to use my teeth

I’m sorry I didn’t make you come

I’m sorry I only know how to come on my own

I’m sorry I don’t swallow

I’m sorry I don’t really enjoy penetration yet

I’m sorry we really have to stop my foot is just really cramping up in this…position

I’m sorry I can’t do it with my roommate in the same room even if it turns you on…

I’m sorry I haven’t learnt…

I’m sorry I have so little experience

I’m sorry—


No, fuck it I’m not sorry.

Because I thought I was supposed to enjoy this at least a little bit.

It just feels like my hymen is tearing all over again. What?

I am not too small you’re just unnecessarily big.

You may as well start to deal with it.


Because I’m not twelve any more.

I don’t need anyone to pat my head

tell me I did well, that I’ve grown up

that I’ve got it.

Because that movie 40 year old virgin was a comedy

And a lousy one at that

I’m not sorry I’m learning about sex at 24

Because there is no timeline to follow.


This is not a plane crash but a streamlined vessel

Yes, with wings.

Its not something that just happened to me

I decided on all of this.

Because I can decide where it goes, what it does

when it does and how

and no matter what

make sure it gets me high.


This is not a plane crash

But a streamlined vessel I happen to have

But a streamlined vessel that is very pretty

But says very little about who I really am.


This is not a plane crash

But a streamlined vessel I will carefully pilot

and treasure and care for under all circumstances.

Which is mine and all mine.

Whose passengers will line up and behave,

understand what a privilege it is to ride.

and bloody well treat with the utmost respect.


Eroscoaching Logo

Get sex tips straight in your mailbox!